Menlo Park is hoping to reel in four new electric vehicle charging stations and five solar panels early next year.

Rebecca Fotu, the city's environmental programs manager, said the panels could be obtained through the Regional Renewable Energy Procurement Project, an effort involving Menlo Park and 18 other public agencies and led by Alameda County to boost green energy.

Among other things, the group has worked to acquire bids from renewable power vendors for its initiatives.

"It was really great for us, these regional efforts," Fotu said. "They did all the muscle."

Mayor Ray Mueller said he's pleased to see the city take more aggressive steps to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

"Of course, we're going to look at the financials," Mueller said. "But I think these things will be paying for themselves."

City staff is recommending that Menlo Park buy the electricity generated by the solar panels but not the panels themselves. Solar City would install the panels on the city's chosen sites.

The city proposes installing the panels on carports at its corporation yard, Arrillaga Gymnasium, Arrillaga Gymnastics Center and Onetta Harris Community Center and on the roof of the Belle Haven Child Care Center.

Staff likely will present the information to the City Council within a month and then return with a contract for approval in June, Fotu said.


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Money for the four electric vehicle charging stations has been tentatively secured through the California Energy Commission.

That commission announced earlier this month it is distributing more than $11.4 million statewide for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Menlo Park's portion of a regional grant sought by the Bay Area Climate Collaborative would be $491,290.

Collaborative senior program director Mike Harrigan said the proposed awards will need to be officially approved at a business meeting of the Energy Commission, likely next month.

"Very very seldom do they not approve these awards; I've never seen that happen," he said.

Menlo Park plans to install three of the stations in downtown parking lots and one at Civic Center.

Email Bonnie Eslinger at beslinger@dailynewsgroup.com; follow her at twitter.com/bonnieeslinger.